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|April 26, 2001||
Chaya Devi no more
Bengali heroine and character artiste Chaya Devi passed away at a Calcutta nursing home in the early hours of April 26.
Sources say she was admitted on April 19 following a cerebral attack and chest pneumonia. The end came at 2.10 am. She was 80.
Born Kanaklata Ganguly and paternal cousin of thespian Ashok Kumar, the actress chose to call herself Chaya Devi after her successful debut at the age of 15 in Pather Seshe, directed by Jyotish Bandyopadhyay.
Chaya Devi, who began her film career playing the female romantic lead, followed in the footsteps of Kanan Devi, Chandrabati and Jamuna Baruah in the mid 1930s. A good singer and dancer, Chaya also playbacked for many of her screen characters.
The artiste has acted in over 150 films in Bengali, Hindi and Tamil, and was honoured with the President's Award for her portrayal of a determined old woman who reforms a group of ruffians in Tapan Sinha's Apon Jan. She enthralled cineastes by her performance and endeared her peers with her simple and jovial disposition.
Among her memorable performances are Harmonium and Haate Bazare, directed by Tapan Sinha, Arundhati Devi's Padi Pishir Barmi Baksha, Debaki Basu's Bidyapati and Sushil Majumdar's Rikta. She was acclaimed for her performance in Sonar Sansar, Rajani and Chhinna Haar.
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